On February 5th Massachusetts Housed approved a bill that would give Cannabis Control Commission more power to regulate community host agreements or the contracts between municipalities and marijuana business being operated within their jurisdiction.
According to a MassLive.com report, the measure which would allow the CCC to review and enforce the contracts which are referred to as community host agreement was passed by the House in a vote of 121 to 33.
MassLive.com further reported that Massachusetts law requires all applicants of marijuana business permits to enter into a community host agreement with the municipality or town before their applications can be considered by the CCC. As per the current rules should be for a maximum of five years, and the cities or towns should not subject marijuana sales to a tax above 3%. The tax imposed is supposed to offset the impact of marijuana business on the locals.
According to the news outlet, the legislation which was approved on Wednesday would grant the municipalities the authority to relinquish the requirement of community host agreement from the applicants. It would also clarify to the applicants of marijuana business permits that the five-year duration starts on the day they launch their businesses. The legislation also the companies do not have any additional financial obligation to the city or town except the 3%, which is imposed on gross sales.
After the Mayor of Falls River Jasiel Correia was arrested, the issue of Host community agreements in Massachusetts was brought into the light. Correia was arrested for embezzling thousands of dollars from marijuana businesses in exchange for approving their licenses. According to the court document, Correia was accused of bribery, extortion, conspiracy, aiding and abetting, wire fraud, and filing false tax returns.
Masslive.com further reported that in January of 2019, the CC requested the legislators to give them the mandate to supervise host community agreements.